Source: The Star Online
BY SHAD SALEEM FARUQI
Shad Saleem Faruqi – file pic
THE making, amending or repealing of a law is Parliament’s primary function. Whether it is an ordinary Act of Parliament (like the Road Traffic Act), or a law to combat subversion or emergency, or a constitutional amendment, the legislative proposal must go through the fires of scrutiny in both Houses of Parliament.
Subsidiary legislation: Regrettably, the above theory does not apply to delegated (or subsidiary) legislation, which is made by persons or authorities outside of Parliament on the explicit authority of a parliamentary statute (the parent law).
In fact, for every one statute passed by Parliament, there are on average 15 to 20 pieces of subsidiary regulations framed by the executive under the authority of that statute.
Subsidiary legislation is not only about minor matters of detail. It imposes taxes, fines and levies. It creates crimes. Both in quantity and in the reach of its topics, subsidiary legislation is as important as parliamentary legislation.
This shocking state of affairs has adverse implications for representative democracy and the doctrine of separation of powers. The executive enacts far more laws than Parliament.
Source: The Malay Mail Online
BY OOI HENG
Malaysian Parliament — MMO file pic
OCTOBER 15 — Dewan Rakyat will resume sitting on the 17th of October. The Dewan Rakyat Order Paper showed that the first four items of business consists of three motions and one Government Bill. The motion by the President of Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) and Member of Parliament (MP) for Marang, Hadi Awang, is being listed as the fourth item. It is understandable that the media are focusing on this fourth item.
In the past, the media tend to make such reports, treating a motion as a bill, and treating the legislative procedure of a Private Member’s Bill as the same as that of a Government Bill. Dealing with the controversial ‘Hudud issue’, the media currently need to present the aspects of the different legislative procedures.
The legislative procedures for Government Bills and non-Government Bills are not indifferent. Those being presented by Government frontbenchers or ‘MPs who are ministers’ are Government Bills, while those being presented by the so-called ‘ordinary Members of Parliament’ (ordinary MPs) or ‘MPs who are not ministers’ are non-Government Bills. The Government frontbenchers are representing the executive branch, while the ordinary MPs consisting of government backbenchers, opposition MPs and independent MPs, are representing the legislative branch. Read more